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If you had to pick one unbuilt Secret Project as your favourite?

uk 75

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To start off 2015 a bit late I know but I thought this one might be fun.

If you had to pick one unbuilt Secret Project as your favourite what would it be?

Hard, isn't it. TSR2 ought to be mine as I was given a toy one in 1964 and have loved it ever since. On the other hand for pure madness and impracticality the Boeing SST swing wing version in various airline colours takes up a lot of my time. The project that combines elements of both was the US West German AVS swing wing vstol wonder strike aircraft of 1967. So that is probably my choice.
 

shedofdread

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Oh come on! Who wouldn't want one of the HP 'jumping jeeps' for the daily commute..? What could *possibly* go wrong? ;)


Other favourites include the ADV Vulcan but frankly, that was far too sensible an idea...
 

Ifor

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Always liked the SARO 177, Arrow, Valkyrie and last but not least the AH 56.
 

Grey Havoc

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For me, it would probably be a toss-up between the TSR-2 and the CSGN (new build and conversions).
 

CJGibson

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I've always wondered what difference laminar flow systems on the likes of the HP.135 would have made (and still could make) to air transport.

This GA is drawn from the model photos in Flight as I've yet to see a three-view of the HP-135.

Feel free to nit pick the drawing.

Chris
 

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Steve Pace

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My favorite unbuilt Secret Project would be the Lockheed F-12B. -SP
 

sferrin

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Too many interesting things to narrow it down to one. Project Pluto/SLAM? Sprint 2? YF-23? Talos-armed Iowas? Heavylift space boosters?
 

Abraham Gubler

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After nine or so pages of argument I have to say the Convair Model 49 AAFSS.


http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,6188.0.html
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
Too many interesting things to narrow it down to one. Project Pluto/SLAM? Sprint 2? YF-23? Talos-armed Iowas? Heavylift space boosters?

Talos-armed Iowas? That's just...awesome.
 

pathology_doc

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marauder2048 said:
Talos-armed Iowas? That's just...awesome.


Isn't it just? Even if you leave the forward gun turrets on; that thing STILL ought to have enough internal volume to carry a fairly large missile load-out, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn it could fit four directors.


My favourite almost-there that should have been is the SR.177 - the manufacturing apparatus was there, there was interest from overseas, and there were multiple airframes under construction when cancellation occurred; so apart from possibly the thin-wing Javelin*, it's the best candidate for being taken out of the Sandys wastepaper bin and being allowed to run to completion. I admit to a weak spot for the Delta III and the P.1121, but the Delta III was never started and the P.1121 was a half-finished hand-built prototype with (AFAIK) no production-line apparatus behind it.


For weapons, I nominate Red Dean - production planning was again well in train and the thing was achingly close to running its live-firing trials when it got the axe, and while it might not have passed them (and thereby justified its own cancellation), it would have been nice to see it given a go, if only for the research data gathered and the lessons learned (especially in regard to radar guidance and sidelobe problems within proximity to the ground or water, which was Red Dean's major curse according to Forbat, and which would have been relevant for Sea Slug and similar systems as military aviation left the clouds and started to hug the treetops).


I'm not counting TSR.2 because, although I felt the aircraft would have redeemed itself in service (especially as newer and more compact black boxes and guided weapons arrived), it was actually built and one prototype did actually fly (hence not unbuilt or unfinished). The same applies to the CF-105.




* = Yes, I know Sandys didn't directly kill the TWJ, but the Arrow and then the Delta III did, and the UK ultimately lost a production-ready airplane which, for whatever failings it may have had, at least had better performance than what it was replacing, with radar-guided missiles and without the Lightning's horrifically short "legs".
 

sferrin

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pathology_doc said:
marauder2048 said:
Talos-armed Iowas? That's just...awesome.


Isn't it just? Even if you leave the forward gun turrets on; that thing STILL ought to have enough internal volume to carry a fairly large missile load-out, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn it could fit four directors.

Easy. Just for comparison, the much smaller Albany class cruisers had two twin Talos launchers (4 directors) with 104 missiles and two twin Tartar launchers with 80 rounds.
 

theponja

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The flying wing/blended wing/lifting body projects: Burnelli, Horten/Northrop, Boeing X-48. I think we would've a very different kind of transport more ecological and safe if the industry evolves from the cylinder with wings.
 

quellish

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TIMBERWIND interceptor.
 

mz

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The full size post X-24b hypersonic vehicles in the X-24C / FDL-7 / NHFRF (national hypersonic flight research facility) vein.
 

Thorvic

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P1216 would have been nice Would have become the Harrier replacement and allowed the JSF to be developed without the STOVL handicap to the concept.

The other is the CVA-01
 

sferrin

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Geoff_B said:
P1216 would have been nice Would have become the Harrier replacement and allowed the JSF to be developed without the STOVL handicap to the concept.

The other is the CVA-01

And the Convair 200 in the US. I can't help but wonder how things might have turned out differently if only they'd picked the 200A instead of the Rockwell XFV-12.
 

sferrin

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quellish said:
TIMBERWIND interceptor.

Timberwind Unwound
One of the mysteries surrounding the highly
classified S.D.I. Timberwind program to develop a nuclear
rocket engine is. the question of why S.D.I. would need a
nuclear rocket in the first place.

The answer, according to multiple sources, is that
Timberwind is intended for potential use in a ground based
anti-ballistic missile (ABM). In this concept, a
nuclear engine would serve as the second stage of such an
ABM interceptor missile.

The Timberwind technology is .distinguished by its
potentially high thrust-to-weight ratio. (Indeed, the
abbreviation "T/W," signifying "thrust to weight ratio," may
have inspired the codename "Timberwind.")
Newly obtained project documents indicate that an
ABM interceptor with a nuclear engine could travel 3000
kilometers or more within 5 to 6 minutes.

According to one highly placed source,
Timberwind may offer the only way to develop a ballistic
missile defense for the continental United States that is
ABM Treaty-compliant, i.e. using up to 100 ground-based
missiles at a single site. This dubious claim is impossible
to evaluate as long as the program remains highly
classified.

Other potential Timberwind applications identified
include anti-satellite (ASA T) and defensive satellite
(DSAT) systems, and reusable orbital transfer vehicles."

Interesting.
 

Steve Pace

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Boeing's proposed Sonic Cruiser was most interesting. -SP

WHOOPS! Not a Secret Project.
 

JohnR

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Pardon my ignorance but what was the XP 67 Warrior? I've done a search on the site and a quick bit of googling with no results.

Regards.
 

Abraham Gubler

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JohnR said:
Pardon my ignorance but what was the XP 67 Warrior? I've done a search on the site and a quick bit of googling with no results.


Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of Australia designed a few iterations of a mid 50s Mach 2 fighter as a competitor to the F-104.


http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1479.msg12470.html#msg12470
 

quellish

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sferrin said:
In this concept, anuclear engine would serve as the second stage of such anABM interceptor missile.



I will let people draw their own conclusions about that sentence.
TIMBERWIND transited out of SDIO after it became public but remained a special access program. The USAF portion was OLYMPIC, and focused on using the TIMBERWIND PBR technology primarily for an upper stage. The SNTP program ran in parallel at relaxed security levels. Most of the public technical information about TIMBERWIND is actually from the SNTP effort. SNTP was explicitly exoatmospheric.


Curious that they were explicit about that ;)
 

marauder2048

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quellish said:
sferrin said:
In this concept, anuclear engine would serve as the second stage of such anABM interceptor missile.



I will let people draw their own conclusions about that sentence.
TIMBERWIND transited out of SDIO after it became public but remained a special access program. The USAF portion was OLYMPIC, and focused on using the TIMBERWIND PBR technology primarily for an upper stage. The SNTP program ran in parallel at relaxed security levels. Most of the public technical information about TIMBERWIND is actually from the SNTP effort. SNTP was explicitly exoatmospheric.


Curious that they were explicit about that ;)


Wouldn't it have violated the atmospheric test-ban treaty otherwise?
 

Steve Pace

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Flying Sorcerer said:
JohnR: I got the alphanumeric wrong; it's XP-65. If anyone has details, I'd love to have them!
The proposed Grumman P-65 was to be a USAAF version of the Grumman F7F Tigercat. But it was not ordered into production. -SP
 

Kryptid

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There are too many for me to choose just one: the Rockwell ATF (pre-stealth revision), the Armstrong-Whitworth AWP.13, the Lockheed/Langley Mach 5, methane-fueled aircraft study with the rectangular engine nacelles (don't know if it has a publicly-known designation), the Boeing ATF, the Daedalus interstellar probe, and pretty much any nuclear-powered aircraft.
 

quellish

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marauder2048 said:
Wouldn't it have violated the atmospheric test-ban treaty otherwise?


Some people think that treaties do not apply to them, or that they will not get caught. And who is going to catch you in Antarctica?
 

Abraham Gubler

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Steve Pace said:
Flying Sorcerer said:
JohnR: I got the alphanumeric wrong; it's XP-65. If anyone has details, I'd love to have them!
The proposed Grumman P-65 was to be a USAAF version of the Grumman F7F Tigercat. But it was not ordered into production. -SP


CAC used P and XP numbers for their in house designs that didn't have a billable contract. The later were designated CA like North American NA designations.


The Warrior family started with the XP65 of May 1954 and also included an evolved, grown version the XP66 in August 1954. Then the larger again XP67 in October which also had a tracked main undercarriage. The XP68 followed with the undercarriage moved to the fuselage (previously it had been in fixed wing-tip pods). All versions were to be made from stainless steel which CAC thought they could do because they also designed and built engines which used the heavier metals.
 

uk 75

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Thanks to everyone who posted here. Some great stuff which shows why this site is so good.

In these troubled time it is good to be able to focus on the awesome aspects of secret projects.

I add to my favourite a card album which showed spaceflight as it was expected to be in the 70s before the Nixon cuts to the US space programme. The Mars ships on the cover are especially poignant as they were planned to fly some thirty years ago this year.
 

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